This summer we blogged about the federal government giving funds to California to help stop texting-and-driving on local roads. The Dept. of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced plans further its grant program to fight texting-while-driving in other states, including a $550,000 grant to Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Texting-while-driving is a large contributing factor to many California car accidents. Distracted drivers can often travel the length of a football field while essentially blind to traffic changes, pedestrians, or bikers on the road. Texting-while-driving remains a major issue in California despite laws banning the practice.
“We have come a long way in our fight against distracted driving, but there is still much work to be done,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Texting behind the wheel is especially dangerous, which is why we’re working with states like Connecticut and Massachusetts to address this important safety issue.”
It should be noted that some forms of texting while driving were recently re-legalized in California. Specifically, hands-free texting and email that uses voice-operated technology will be allowed starting next year. Some politicians say that the amendment to section 23123.5 of the Vehicle Code was not intended to include phones but rather addresses new vehicle dashboard systems with the voice technology.
Source: Fleet Owner, “DOT provide grants for texting ban enforcement demonstrations,” Nov. 6, 2012